Family Meals Under £10: Recipe Three | #DIYDineOut

If you have set yourself a goal to save money over the next year or so, then where do you start? I have seen different saving sheets that I have given a try to before, as well as doing things like switching bank accounts or putting any coins that I get into a specific bank account. But there are many everyday things that you can do to cut back spend, meaning that you have more leftover. If you’re good with budgeting, then it can make all of the difference.

One of the things that you might like to cut down your spend on is how much you spend on your grocery bill. We all need to eat, but the cost of food can rise and rise if we let it. Not only that, but if you are buying lunch at work everyday instead of taking in your own food, then this can be another thing that really adds up. So with that in mind, I have teamed up with Sunny to share some recipes that are family friendly, easy to make, quick to make, and don’t cost a lot. Then you can be on your way to saving and using the rest of the money to put aside for other things; why pay more for the things that you have to spend on? That is my reasoning behind it anyway.

So far I have shared a spicy penne pasta recipe and a vegan sweet potato burrito recipe. But according to research by Sunny, one of the nation’s favourite meals when eating out is Italian (coming in at 22% of people choosing it as their top choice, and 28% of 18-34 year olds choosing it as their top choice). So with that in mind, I have an Italian past recipe that fits the bill of being quick to make, simple, cheap, and full of nutritional goodness. It is a recipe with a homemade pesto sauce, which let’s face it, is much better for you than a shop bought one full oF preservatives. Plus, I have made this one dairy-free if you are doing veganuary or have dairy allergies or intolerances in the home.

Pesto is also something that is so good for you and your family to eat, because of the pine nuts that it is made up from. Consuming pine nuts can also contribute to a healthy heart as they are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which is one of the ‘better’ fats out there. The pesto is also made from spinach and basil, with the latter being a good source of magnesium and a good source of Vitamin A. The former being an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate, as well as being a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2. Spinach is pretty much superfood with plenty of goodness that all the family can benefit from.

The recipe can use any pasta that you would prefer, and can be easily made from gluten-free pasta or something like courgette noodles if you’d prefer to make it a light dish. Either way, it is a nod to some of your favourite Italian food; hope you enjoy.

Spinach and Pesto Pasta

Serves 4

Cost per serving: £1.93 (shopping at ASDA)


  • 300g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried herbs
  • 500g pasta of your choice (I used farfelle)
  • salt and pepper

For the pesto sauce:

  • 60g pine nuts
  • 300g baby spinach leaves
  • 60g basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 4 tbsp dairy-free plain yogurt or cream

What To Do:

  1. Heat the oven to 160c (gas mark 3), and prepare a baking tray with either greaseproof paper or a cooking oil spray to line the tray. Then lay the halved cherry tomatoes onto the baking tray. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle the dried herbs on top. Use some salt and pepper to season (I love a lot of salt on tomatoes), and then bake in the oven for around an hour, to give them a lovely sun blush style and taste.
  2. Now it is time to make the pesto, using the ingredients in the pest sauce list. Star off with the spinach, basil, garlic, and oil and place in a food processor (or strong blender could work too), and blend until smooth. Then add the pine nuts and pulse until they are chopped up but are not completely smooth. Season with some salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, and then when finished, drain the pasta, and set to one side, with the cooked tomatoes.
  4. In a frying pan, add the pesto sauce, and stir in the cream or yogurt that you are using, just to make it nice and creamy (though you can omit if you’d prefer). Once that is all bubbling nicely, stir in the pasta and the tomatoes so that they are all covered with the pesto.
  5. It is now ready to serve, though you can sprinkle more pine nuts to serve and more cherry tomatoes, or serve with salad and garlic bread. A real winner that is quick and simple, and tastes really great. I know it is green so can put a lot of kids off, but my two have really enjoyed it (minus the tomatoes, I might add)!

You can see my other recipes that are well under £10 to make, to have your own dine in experience at home, below:

It would be great to hear if you give this a go! Let me know what you think or how you get on in the comments.

*this is a collaborative post.

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